Fortnite is in the middle of a marketing campaign, rewarding players with a couple of months of Disney+ if they make an in-game purchase in Fortnite.
This isn’t the first time Fortnite has offered players access to Disney+, with both offers coming during the middle of seasons that heavily feature close collaborations with Disney. Given the House of Mouse’s reputation for being heavy-handed and controlling, this close partnership raises some questions about the future of Fortnite.
Fortnite working with Disney…
The last season of Fortnite was criticized for basically being a giant advert for Marvel Studios. This current season has definitely dialed the crossover media integration, but still features its fair share of cameo properties, including Star Wars’ The Mandalorian as a featured character.
Given the widespread and sprawling nature of the Disney empire, it can often be hard to remember just how far reaching the Mouse’s power truly is. Disney doesn’t just make its own shows and movies, it owns the studios responsible for creating some of the biggest fandoms ever made.
The control Disney can exert on media is already so massive that the thought of Disney being close with a game development studio as big as Epic has some worrying implications.
Part of what drew players into Fortnite to begin with was its creativity and unique appearance. Fortnite was original and polished enough that it quickly built up a massive following. This led to the game quickly adopting a sense of pop-culture awareness that helped the game remain at the forefront of internet culture, something which only increased the spotlight placed on the game.
…Could turn into Fortnite working for Disney
Fortnite ended up being the most profitable game two years in a row, something which definitely caught the attention of bigger and more powerful companies out there. The number of crossover events, characters, skins, dances, wraps, emojis, back bling, and so on, that feature something not original to Fortnite, is increasing.
While this lack of originality would be worrying enough on its own, the close relationship with Disney is even more problematic as a close relationship with the media giant runs the risk of becoming just another company under their control.
Even if Disney doesn’t outright buy Epic Games or Fortnite, the idea that Fortnite could potentially end up being just another way for Disney to convince people to buy their stuff seems pretty frustrating.
Hopefully this doesn’t happen and Epic can return to producing original content for their game, rather than relying so heavily on crossover marketing.
Published 31 Dec 2020, 01:33 IST